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Grateful Dead Live at Avalon Ballroom on 1966-05-19

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Grateful Dead Live at Avalon Ballroom on 1966-05-19

Topics Live concert

Beat It On Down The Line, Standing On The Corner, Mindbender, It Hurts Me Too, Viola Lee Blues, I Know You Rider, It's A Sin, Sick And Tired, Cream Puff War Sittin' On Top Of The World, Minglewood Blues, Cold Rain And Snow, Come Back Baby, Silver Threads And Golden Needles, It's All Over Now Baby Blue, Good Lovin' , You Don't Have To Ask

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Avalon Ballroom
Location San Francisco, CA

Source Soundboard
Lineage MR > DAT > FM Broadcast > CDR > SHN
Taped by
Transferred by


mr> dat> fm broadcast> cdr> shn; via lestatkatt; Cream Puff War filler


Reviewer: njpg - favoritefavorite - April 10, 2015
Subject: -
Reviewer: WesleyCranor - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 19, 2014
Subject: Happy Birthday to ME :) <3
Love knowing the Band was play'n as I came into this world :)
Reviewer: Pelke - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 28, 2013
Subject: Lovin' This Sound from '66!
The band had not been together for long as the Grateful Dead when they played this show and they were still search for their own style. I just got done listening to most of the shows from '69 and it's amazing how much their style evolved in just three years. This show, it is hard to distinguish them from the the Animals, Jefferson Airplane, 13th Floor Elevators, etc. It is a good sound and fun to liasten to. I'm enjoying it!
Reviewer: Fatangel3 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 7, 2010
Subject: epic
Woah, this show is ill. I'm so happy I found it, the rider is great, dire wolf is epic (especially if it's really the first) and the lovelight...damn.

Is there anyway for me to Download this?
Reviewer: gratedude69 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 11, 2010
Subject: wow
wow, what a great early show, these songs are excellent!
Reviewer: BIG_R - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 19, 2009
Subject: 5-19-66
It's so cool to get to hear the early Dead. You can just hear the potential. I also agree with lefty les. Jerry Garcia could wail the blues and Pigpen could sing the blues so good he'd make Muddy Waters grin from ear to ear. I'm going to get the sonic solutions version and see how it sounds. This version sounds good condidering how old it is though.
Reviewer: rollandfin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 12, 2009
Subject: good lovin!
very cool good lovin, if this is the only time played in 66 you might think it's kinda of random, something that just came up, after all they are musicians and probably knew how to play a few cords, but, it sounds vocally very scripted so it's hard to believe this wasn't planned or practiced. Still they put this away until may of 69! and by then it would grow into a key pigpen song thru europe 72, and once sung by jerry on may 7th 1969.

Lets not go crazy this is not as good as the 70-72 era good lovin's where jerry's guitar was ripe and phil bob billy keith could take this to new places, check out good lovin, from 2/71 at the capitol, or from 8/26/71 or 5/18/72.

But this version helps greatly to show the evolution of the sound that emerged in the early 70s, similar growth can be seen in cold rain, minglewood I know you rider..., a kind of figuring out how to play with relevance and leaving a default mindset behind, a true coming of age. Ill go as far as to say the band figured out which songs had potential before they knew how to extract such magic?
Reviewer: Carp JC - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 11, 2009
Subject: Blue's to blow ya away
This was before the "summer of love " not many people knew what was about to take place in SF and through out the USA. But the Grateful Dead were the tip of the spear . So many sounds , colors, moods, the mood tonight was blues,enjoy ! Jerry, Pig, whata ride.
Thank you
Reviewer: lefty les - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 29, 2009
Subject: The Blues
These shows from the bands infancy are a wonderful reminder of what an amazing blues guitars Jerry was. If Pigpen had lived, Garcia would have died labeled on of the best BLUES guitarist that ever lived. That being said he did OK for himself anyway. These shows are an absolute treat to listen to. Raw and piercing. You have to listen to this stuff to truly appreciate when the band ended up almost 40 years later.
Reviewer: creampuffedhead - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 20, 2009
Subject: My first review..
I've been listening to the Dead on for about a year straight....Oddly enough I stumbled upon this after a trip to San Francisco and didn't understand what all the buzz was...Needless to say, WOW. I've been hooked for about a year.

Anyhow, this show is ridiculous. I'm still grooming my ear to notice the things all you more experienced heads can pick up...but this is it for me. Great mindbender, insane minglewood, cream puff is really solid. Good lovin - WOW.

I am a huge fan of that 60's sound the dead brought..and this show really packs it in...great vibes!
Reviewer: Stizd08 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 26, 2008
Subject: Amazing...
This has to be my favorite pre-68 show out there, the viola lee blues is short but incredibley done. The Rider is energetic and full of fun and the mindbender and cream puff war really bring ya back. and all the other rare oddities on this recording make it well worth the download!
Reviewer: batcaver - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 19, 2008
Subject: Silver Threads and Golden Needles
hOW pUNK iS ThaT? I wonder if Wanda Jackson ever sung it like this. This stuff is why 74 isn't my favorite year - too far from the garage and not enough disco.
Reviewer: Burnt Rich - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 3, 2008
Subject: Groovy Garage Band Genius
I keep coming back to this one, over and over again. It truly is one of THE magic carpet ride shows out there. Pig's organ is a major factor in the mood lift I get from this concert...but that big thumpin' bass and Jerry's scorching licks just bring it all home on this one. These old ones with this great of sound quality are so welcome after all the years of listening/trading.....I could never get my hands (or ears) on quality recordings of these early, early shows...thank you very much for sharing them with us!!!!!!!
Reviewer: Cheetotito - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 21, 2008
Subject: Very Nice
Very loose early sound. The boys were having a lot of fun this night. Enjoy!
Reviewer: DEADHEADekoostikhippie - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 5, 2008
Subject: '66 Dead....amazing
Lemon Lime Partridge's review just about sums it up, Pigpen brought a beautiful sound and life to the band, i would of loved to seen the dead years down with him....???
Reviewer: nickgmen18 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 15, 2007
Subject: fun
prior to PIGPEN's death, the dead were FUN. All of it. Hyper, Blues, Fun. This is possibly the greatest Good Lovin from a FUN standpoint EVER.
Reviewer: lemon lime partridge - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 15, 2007
Subject: good LORD!!!
what the heck?!?! this absolutely could not be better. well, ok, the only thing that could make it better would be a live version of "mindbender"...oh no wait - IT HAS THAT!!! now if only there was a sick version of "cream puff war"...oh no wait - IT HAS THAT TOO!!!

what a f****** ridiculous minglewood! cannot say enough good things about this show.

when you want to have a good day, listen to '66 dead, man, wow...
Reviewer: BawstonStrangler - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 29, 2007
Subject: Psychedelics In Motion
My favorite from 66, this is a good example of their early blues base being set in motion. Great primal versions of Rider, and Cold Rain & Snow, along with an early tribute to the master Dylan (Baby Blue).

And Good Lovin'...played so fast with that early rhythmic up & down pyschedelic drumming.
Reviewer: chronosynclastic_infundibulum - - June 27, 2007
Subject: Note on Track 10
Track 10 "Tuning" would be more aptly titled "Teddy Bear's Picnic" since the boys either end their first set or start their 2nd set by playing a snippet of the melody to this old, children's tune.
Reviewer: Chris U. - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 31, 2007
Subject: Arguably downhill from here ...
Ah, the sound. The sound. The sound of those instruments. The sound of San Francisco in 1966. I can not get enough.

Listen to Billy's drums on Cream Puff War!!!!

I'd rate this up there with the Great Society records ... but of course nothing tops those. ;)
Reviewer: NYLifer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 19, 2007
Subject: Cream Puff War?
I don't think so. Sounds to me like a continuation of You Don't Have To Ask, with a fade down and up (possibly) to cover a tape flaw. Fun stuff!
Reviewer: jensenbeachjohnny - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 9, 2006
Subject: 66 Dead
Just pulled this out of my old vault, listened to it for the 1st time in years. Great, great stuff. Love the raw sound, heavy bottom end. We are so lucky to have this recording!
Reviewer: BryanE - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 5, 2006
Subject: Antique Dead
This stuff is a riot. It makes one appreciate the fact they were so dedicated to what they were doing, because I don't think anyone could possibly have predicted from the quality of the musicianship back then just how great they would eventually evolve into being. Or at least it sounds that way on this end. Of course, reports that survive from those days indicate that even when they were in these primitive stages, their earliest fans believed in them. As raw and raunchy, unrefined and unskilled as they were, they already had something that was unique and powerful. And, if this is any indicator, what they had was a lot of fun, too.
Reviewer: skuzzlebutt - favoritefavoritefavorite - May 22, 2006
Subject: Fun show, but unremarkable
This show is a fun listen. The sound quality is good for a board of this vintage, although it's a little quirky- Billy and Pigpen are out front in the mix, with Jerry maybe a step down but still very present, Phil a muddy rumble on the bottom end and Weir buried. There's a rowdy-but-right feel to the whole show that ensures you'll never be bored when choosing this one.

However, this is also the product of a band that still has a ways to go, and while this super energetic music shows hints of brilliance in some spots, it's also almost unlistenably clumsy and raw in others. While I very much enjoy tapes from this period, I find any asscertation that this stuff is in any way superior to the band's output from later in the 60s or early 70s simply laughable. The basic elements for the GD magic are here but haven't really coalesced yet. It's amazing how much they would improve in the next 18 months.
Reviewer: jeremythensaid - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 15, 2006
Subject: this looks like an amazing show
the setlist as well as the fact that its an earlier dead show made me so excited. yet i cant seem to stream it, listen to it on the new player thing or anything. can someone pleease help me get this show so that i can stream it on my itunes whenever?
if you can submit back and well talk. thanks so much.
Reviewer: Delta_312_MIT_November_Games - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 20, 2006
Subject: Pure Nectar
Go ahead: Listen to this gem and give yourself a rare treat. Turn the lights down low, sit back, and enjoy. You will smile often along the way.
Reviewer: eman039 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 12, 2006
Subject: Gracias
All I have to say is thank you to the tapers and people who have made this show available. Minglewood is must listen. Bobby is yelping out the tune, singin right from the gut. The whole show is a sick listen back which dates to their roots.
Reviewer: Winter'sSummerHome - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 22, 2006
Subject: More Pigpen
For any Pigpen-head or any early dead fan, this concert is unparelleled. The energy and spirit in this show dwarfs anything in the seventies. The sound quality is amazing for 1966. The boys were on fire. Phil doesn't get a lot of respect for this show, but he's on fire keeping everything energentic and laying down some sweet blues bass. Any true Deadhead that hasn't listened to this show is unconsciencely denying themselves a great joy.
Reviewer: Dish from Larry - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 7, 2006
Subject: Tastebud
The song listed as 'Come Back Baby' is really a version of Tastebud, correct?

Great show...
Reviewer: cardgamermanguy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 26, 2005
Subject: Pigpen
Pigpen is amazing, his harmonica work is incredible as well as probably the only organ solo he did in his career on Good Lovin'. TIGHT!
Reviewer: Don Juan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 19, 2005
Subject: History of the Grateful Dead
You know, except for the missing beginning of BIODTL in the beginning and barring any irrelevant, namby pamby complaints about the sound quality this is a rockin' show. Hell, perhaps the poor guy who recorded it only had a lousy dictating tape recorder but he was in the right spot right up front if that was the case. The last show I had downloaded from here was the Ivar show. That show pales in comparison to this Avalon show. I loved Mind Bender and the one I'm listening to now, Cream Puff War. God bless that lone person, that hero who had the patience of a saint and the thoughtfulness of a physics professor to take responsibility and tape this show. This is fabulous. This is the History Of The Grateful Dead!!!
Reviewer: treyrules514 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 30, 2005
Subject: beat it on down the line
can someone please tell me why the Beat It Down The Line does not start from the begining it cuts in after a few of bobby's words!! i would like to hear the full version from start to finish as this is my favorite beat it down the line. Can someone please let me know? thank you!!!!!
Reviewer: skb archives - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 10, 2005
Subject: Source
David Gans circulated the pre-fm discs of this right after his broadcast. Why it's not here, I do not
Reviewer: cream-puff-war - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 3, 2005
Subject: Reel n Rockin' 1966 Rules
One of the great years in pop music history, before things got oversaturated so to say: 1966.

This is an amazing reel(s) of flat out smokin' ballroom bar band Grateful Dead -
the real mcCoy.

It's all good, yet...
I'd trade all my 1970 and up Dead concert attendances for the time machine trip that would let me spend just one evening like this one...

Goodnight Chet.
Reviewer: sdm8deyz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 24, 2005
Subject: Not 11.29.66 or 2.23.66
This is the source for the tapes that have been circulating for years with the wrong dates listed above. Deadbase, Taper's Compendium list this show correctly, but haven't caught on that the erroneous listings are doctored copies of this material (e.g. Sick and Tired appears twice, even though its exactly the same version--the first is a copy of the second, appended to the beginning of someone's tape--for rarity perhaps?) Well anyway, this master sounds a touch slow. Pitch correcting it a touch would probably be smart if anyone has the wherewithal to do it.
Reviewer: Agricola - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 3, 2005
Subject: Classic
Superb early Dead performance. Surprisingly good sound quality.
Reviewer: oceantree - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 22, 2005
Subject: what a nugget
great sound, great performance, plus f***in second-to-none song selection and richness... this is a show you must have... i won't say more, please trust me...God bless the Grateful Dead! thank you, archive!
Reviewer: The Sound Jester - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 18, 2005
Subject: thank you archive
Stuff like this makes me so thankful for the archive and my computer!!
Reviewer: spleenboy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 8, 2005
Subject: First Cream Puff?
You get a lot of conflicting info regarding the ancient shows, but supposedly when they whip out Cream Puff War on this evening, it was for the first time live.

As a real '68 freak, tracing back that progress and uncovering stepping stones gems such as this is such a gift, especially when the sound quality is so righteous. Now, having analyzed it one way, this showed kicked some [profanity removed]
Reviewer: Mr. Miner - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 23, 2005
Subject: Great!!
Great show. Excellent sound quality. Very raw.
Reviewer: lovinthegroovethc - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 30, 2004
Subject: great dead
this is a must have if you are a fan. i love the early years and here is some of the best!!!love hat dead.
Reviewer: fire - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 25, 2004
Subject: Billy is on FIRE
Listen to Billy drumming on Viola Lee Blues. His drumming is FANTASTIC!
Reviewer: sheikyerbouti - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 8, 2004
Subject: This is great stuff++++
I got the beanie and the dark glasses out for this one - it truly takes you to another place and sounds like a Peter Sellers movie. Great seminal music here for what would become a 30+ year run.... One of my favorites so far.
Reviewer: hail_eris - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 29, 2004
Subject: An instant favorite
As soon as I heard this show, I loved it. I love the frantic pace, the inexplicably compelling versions of songs (esp. Rider). I also really dig the way the bass drum sounds...This show is a high quality show, considering it was recorded almost 40 years ago (not perfect, but much more than listenable). Highly recommended!!
Reviewer: sugarmag - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 8, 2004
Subject: THE BEST!!!!
Ive been into the dead ever since my dad showed me his old records and when i found this site it was awesome. ive looked at tons of the shows on here especially from '65-'69 but i must say this is the BEST i have EVER heard. mindbender and creampuff war are smokin and the whole show just makes me wanna dance!it's brought me up when i was feelin down and if i could id give this show a 100 stars! a MUST have for all dead heads like me!! :)
Reviewer: Warriorstrail - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 22, 2004
Subject: AWSOME
For a concert 38 years old, I must say, the sound is excellent. A totally awsome RIDER. The boys where rocking. This is a must for any true Deadhead. Check it out.
Reviewer: amellowsoul - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 6, 2004
Subject: A prime example of early Dead
This fine artifact shows the early dance show of the Dead. It has excellent sound quality for the era. I have wondered why this took over 30 years to see the light of day. Anyways, Thanks David Gans! (as it first appeared on a few GDH hours)
The set list is mighty fine, offering a big array of common songs (for the time) along with a few rarities, and DEEP RARITIES.
The covers of BIODTL, Hurts Me Too, Minglewood, Rider, S.O.T.O.T.W., Baby Blue, Good Lovin' (covered at breakneck speed, can't get any faster!) and the rare ones of It's A Sin, Sick & Tired, Silver Threads are quite excellent for a beginning band... and of course, Viola Lee is hot!
The orgainals are very intersting, while some show the native hippie outlook, they are totally priceless. Standing On The Corner, You Don't Have To Ask and Cream Puff War are played lot of fun! Then the deep reason to get this show.. the only known live versions of Taste Bud (Come Back Baby) and Mindbender.. yow!
All in all, this is a great eye opening experience for a beginning band, well before the legend. It also serves as an excellent peak into that lovely S.F. music scene before the record companies discovered and the runaway flood came. I highly recommended for all!
Reviewer: samson - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 1, 2004
Subject: Toe tappin good time!
Ah yes! This is the stuff. I taped the first set off Dead Hour a while back and was so excited to see the entire show here! Pigpen is in fine fine form on Hurts Me Too and a very bluesy Tastebud. I really dig the early versions of Rain and Snow and Rider. Even Silver Threads is treated as something to dance to. Sound is great for something recorded over 30 years ago!
This is definately not something for everyone, but it is definately worth checking out!
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Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 6/1/2004
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